Sodium is the key ingredient contained in table salt and is also used as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Aside from adding additional salt to foods on your plate using the salt shaker most of the sodium people consume comes from both canned and frozen food products.
This additive has many adverse affects on the human body. Some include increasing your blood pressure, a negative effect on the heart and heart health, higher risks of cardiovascular disease, eye health, brain functions, kidney disease and dementia.
Even though dietary guidelines say that individuals shouldn’t consume more that 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day we all have to change our ways and think less is best. The less salt/sodium introduced into our systems the better.
Reducing the intake of sodium isn’t as hard as many may think. Keep the salt shaker off the table so you won’t automatically reach for it. Salt food when cooking, do so lightly so that there won’t be a need to re-salt the food.
When you go grocery shopping take the time to read the labels. This is important. The labels will tell you which foods have high sodium levels and then you can determine which ones should be put in the cart and which ones you can live without. Purchase more fresh vegetables and less canned or frozen ones. Try and stay clear of processed foods and ready-made meals. Look for sodium level amounts that are five percent or less so when added to other foods you won’t be consuming more sodium than your body needs or can handle.
Some low-sodium foods to choose from include:
Grains: pasta, rice, barley, tortillas, shredded wheat, Couscous, Quinoa and popcorn
Proteins: fish, poultry, unprocessed meats, egg whites, nuts and cooked dried beans
Fruits and vegetables: fresh vegetables and no-salt frozen vegetables
Dairy: skim milk, yogurt, Swiss cheese, low-fat ricotta cheese
Canned: no-salt added vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, no-salt added ketchup and no-salt added canned foods
Frozen: ravioli, soups, stir-fry vegetables and healthy brand name foods that say low or no salt added
Make some changes to your diet and you will reap the rewards and lower your sodium intake and blood pressure at the same time making all your meals more health and heart smart.
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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